Gareth Widdop celebrated his recall to Shaun Wane’s England squad with an 18-point haul to help Warrington Wolves to a comfortable 38-18 Betfred Super League victory over Wakefield Trinity.
Widdop, who was an England regular under previous coaches Steve McNamara and Wayne Bennett, had been left out of Wane’s initial squad preparing for this autumn’s World Cup but his recent eye-catching displays for the Wolves saw him earn back his place in the international fold this week.
And the half-back was in top form again as he marked the recall with a try, had a hand in two others and landed seven goals from as many attempts – the majority off the touchline – as the Wolves bounced back from their disappointing Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Castleford the previous weekend.
Another man-of-the-match display from Gaz Widdop! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/YunRgawEAH
Winger Josh Charnley also returned to form as he claimed a hat-trick of tries in the win with others coming from Ben Currie and Jake Mamo.
Wakefield saw their three-match unbeaten run come to an end as they claimed tries by David Fifita, Lee Kershaw and Joe Arundel, while Mason Lino kicked three goals.
Warrington coach Steve Price kept faith with the same 17 that lost the semi-final against the Tigers which meant a 300th Super League appearance for full-back Stefan Ratchford.
Wakefield coach Chris Chester opted not to give winger Tom Johnstone his first game for two months, while prop Kelepi Tanginoa missed out after suffering a dead leg in the victory over Leigh Centurions which saw Yusuf Aydin drafted into the squad on the bench.
It took the Wolves just eight minutes to shake off last Saturday’s Cup disappointment when Chris Hill’s powerful midfield charge saw the supporting Widdop touch down for the opening try which the scrum-half converted.
It was a positive start from the home side who increased their lead six minutes later when Widdop’s kick caused havoc in the Trinity defence and Currie was on hand to get the touch.
Widdop was again on target with the conversion and then booted over a penalty soon after to give his side a 14-0 advantage midway through the first half.
The arrival of Kyle Wood and Fifita from the bench brought some fresh life to Trinity and it worked almost immediately when Wood’s short pass saw the latter crash over from close range followed by Lino converting.
It prompted Wakefield’s best spell of the game and it took a try-saving tackle from Charnley on Liam Kay to keep Warrington’s 14-6 advantage intact at the interval.
Warrington increased the lead four minutes after the restart when Widdop and Austin combined to send Mamo over and was soon followed by a quickfire second when Charnley crossed in the corner.
Wakefield responded with a try from Arundel but Warrington sealed the win as Charnley crossed twice in the final 10 minutes to complete his hat-trick, while Kershaw’s last-minute try proved a consolation for the visitors.
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